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Sam Keller to transfer?


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Arizona State quarterback Sam Keller, who was named the Sun Devils' starting quarterback on Friday only to lose the job to sophomore Rudy Carpenter two days later, has been told by coach Dirk Koetter that he will be released from his scholarship, a source close to Keller said Monday night.


According to the source, the senior is seriously considering transferring to one of three schools, and Nebraska might currently be his top choice. The source said the quarterback could remain at Arizona State, but that the possibility of returning to the Sun Devils team "seems unlikely."


Keller's mother, Melissa Sanders, told ESPN.com's Joe Schad late Monday night that an official announcement was not likely until Thursday. But on Tuesday morning, Schad reported that Nebraska coaches had discussed Keller's pending arrival and that Nebraska quarterbacks had been briefed on the decision.


Mike Keller, the quarterback's father, is a former professional football player and knows Nebraska coach Bill Callahan. Keller would have one season of eligibility left and would succeed senior Zac Taylor as Nebraska's starting QB in 2007.


The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star reported on its Web site Monday night that two sources close to the Cornhuskers program said Nebraska offensive coordinator Jay Norvell had phoned the team's quarterbacks to inform them of the coaches' intent to bring Keller aboard. One of the sources, however, said "it's not a done deal."


The newspaper also reported that Mike Keller said his son had been released from his scholarship by Arizona State.


Keller, who started seven games for Arizona State last season before breaking his thumb, would have to sit out this coming season under NCAA transfer rules if he decides to leave the Sun Devils for another Division I-A program. He would have one season of eligibility remaining in 2007.


Keller was one of the top-rated passers in Division I-A in 2005 before he was hurt, completing 58 percent of his passes (155-for-264) for 2,165 yards with 20 touchdowns and nine interceptions.


Carpenter rallied the Sun Devils to a 4-1 record in their last five games last season and was named MVP of Arizona State's 45-40 victory over Rutgers in the Insight Bowl. He led Division I-A in pass efficiency by completing 68 percent of his passes (156-for-228) for 2,273 yards with 17 touchdowns and only two interceptions.


The players were involved in one of the most intense position battles in college football during preseason camp. Koetter announced Keller would be the team's starting quarterback Friday, but then abruptly reversed his decision two days later after meeting with the school's athletic director and a group of team leaders.


"It's simple. I made a mistake on the quarterback situation and I'm changing my mind," Koetter said after Sunday's practice.


Keller, from Danville, Calif., would seem to be a perfect fit for Nebraska coach Bill Callahan's West Coast offense. Cornhuskers starter Zac Taylor is a senior, and highly regarded freshman Harrison Beck went AWOL during Nebraska's preseason camp and transferred to North Carolina State.


If Keller leaves Arizona State, the Sun Devils would have only one other scholarship quarterback on their roster: freshman Danny Sullivan.


Mark Schlabach covers college football and men's college basketball for ESPN.com. You can contact him at [email protected]. Joe Schad covers college football for ESPN.



So he is name starter and then 2 days later he is named #2?.... weird stuff going on down there

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koetter really screwed the pooch on this one


there are a couple competing rumors down here - one seems to be more smear related saying that keller had off the field party issues that got out of hand and forced the issue this weekend


the other is that carpenter threatened to transfer and there was a lot of grumbling on the team about the decision, so dirk reversed stream


definitely a messed up situation and one that will hurt ASU in recruiting

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didn't pull it - released him from it so he could pursue a transfer


the "ouch" of it was naming him the senior starter, then two days later giving the starter gig to a sophmore, pretty much ending his collegiate playing career at ASU at a time where his options would be severely limited

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i don't necessarily disagree - but koetter looks like crap in this whole ordeal - it comes off as if the team is running him, that he is indecisive, that he will railroad his seniors who have put a lot into the program


if he thought carpenter was better, he should of named him the starter to begin with and done it in a fashion that would of allowed keller to find an out if he wanted it

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